Drew Lock put on for his city and kept Seattle’s playoff hopes alive

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They put in Drew Lock and the Mizzou boy went crazy. Philly had nothing for him as he went crazy.

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Lock was in elementary school when Young Jeezy’s debut album, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, became one of the defining projects of a generation. Prior to Monday night, the defining moment of Lock’s NFL career was when he was sitting on the Denver Broncos’ sideline and rapping along to Jeezy’s 2008 single, “Put On.” After his game-winning drive that defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, and kept the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff hopes alive, there is now a football moment for which to remember Lock’s NFL career.

Prior to 2023, Lock had not started an NFL game since 2021. Teddy Bridgewater was named Broncos QB1 at the start of that season. The Broncos selected Lock in the second round of the 2019 draft after both Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian turned out to not be dependable starting NFL quarterbacks.

The Broncos put him in the starting lineup in Week 12 of his rookie season, and named him their Week 1 starter in 2020. Lock completed 57.3 percent of his passes, threw 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, and averaged 5.8 yards per pass attempt in 13 games.

By 2022, he was traded to the Seahawks as part of a massive deal for the Broncos to acquire Russell Wilson. Geno Smith — who had not been named the starter for an NFL game since 2017 — beat out Lock this season for the starting quarterback spot. He made the Pro Bowl and led the Seahawks to the playoffs in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season.

A lingering groin injury forced Smith out of the lineup for the Seahawks’ Week 14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Lock kept Seattle in the game for most of the day until he threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter.

Smith was active against the Eagles, but Lock received the starting nod. The former Broncos QB did not have a spectacular night overall. The Seahawks did not score a touchdown until the third quarter.

Lock also did not throw any interceptions. It was Jalen Hurts with the two back-breaking fourth-quarter picks that greatly benefited the Seahawks. He threw one in the end zone midway through the quarter, and another on the Eagles’ final drive.

But without Lock’s poise on his team’s final drive, they don’t take the lead. He drove the Seahawks 92 yards down the field with a minute and 24 seconds remaining in the game. As unusual as the play was in which D.K. Metcalf attached a reception to his hip with one hand, it was his 3rd and 10 catch that saved the day. Lock somehow got a pass to fall right between two Eagles’ defenders and into Metcalf’s arms. Two plays later, Lock found Jackson Smith-Njigba in single coverage for the game-winning touchdown.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said after the game that the starting quarterback job goes back to Smith once he is healthy. A wise move since Lock has thrown three interceptions this season despite starting only two games.

Not all career arcs get to take a new direction. Sometimes all that certain players get is a moment, maybe even a handful, to prove they are capable of making the biggest plays on the brightest stage.

Lock was presented with that moment in Week 15. On Monday Night Football, against last season’s NFC champions, the Seahawks had the ball at their own 8-yard line with less than 90 seconds remaining in the game. If they didn’t score a touchdown they would have fallen to 6-8 on the season.

One of Young Jeezy’s youngest fans put the team on his back and made the biggest plays of his NFL career that began four years ago. It took him being demoted, traded and losing a QB battle to get to that 29-yard touchdown. That is the beauty of sports, though. Sometimes an unexpected hero can alter an entire season in the blink of an eye.

Lock was in his spaceship on Monday night and his game was harder than a dinner plate.

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